Head and neck cancers are malignancies that arise in the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, salivary glands, throat, or larynx. These cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck such as in the mouth, nose, and throat.
Head and neck cancers account for nearly 3 percent of all cancers in the United States, or about 48,000 cases in 2016 based on data from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. These cancers are nearly twice as common among men as they are among women.
Cancers of the head and neck are further categorized by the area of the head or neck in which they begin. Get more information on these various forms of head and neck cancers:
Alcohol and tobacco use are the two most important risk factors for head and neck cancers. Moreover, infection with cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus (HPV) is a risk factor for some types of head and neck cancers.
Source: National Cancer Institute